News stories regarding Molokai’s outdoor environment

Coqui Frog Found on Molokai Again

Thursday, June 28th, 2018

MoMISC News Release

On Wednesday, June 20, Molokai/Maui Invasive Species Committee (MoMISC) staff responded to a report from a private residence of a possible coqui frog and confirmed that it was coqui. Coqui frogs in Hawaii are highly invasive and have negative impacts to human health and our environment. MoMISC has responded to 121 reports of possible coqui over the years and out of that, the organization has controlled seven frogs total, preventing a naturalized population.

Coqui frogs are spread primarily by people. There are many pathways by which coqui frogs get to Molokai. In 2001, a coqui frog arrived in shipment of plants for resale from a nursery outside Molokai.…

Youth Show Work of Head, Heart, Hands and Health

Thursday, June 28th, 2018

Youth Show Work of Head, Heart, Hands and Health


Showmanship, public speaking, animal husbandry and responsibility are all skills and qualities instilled in youth through participation in Molokai’s annual 4-H Expo. Held last Friday and Saturday at Kaunakakai Ball Park, the two-day event was the culmination of months of animal care and gave young participants the opportunity to showcase their hard work.

From ducks to pigs, goats and steer, youth raised, fed and trained their animals, and younger 4-H-ers had their small animals on display while older participants competed in market and showmanship categories in the ring. They were judged on control over their animal, eye contact with the judge, knowledge of animal care and processing and the size and proportions of their goats, steer or pigs.…

Monk Seal Killed at Mo’omomi

Wednesday, June 20th, 2018

Monk Seal Killed at Mo’omomi

Last month, a young female Hawaiian monk seal was killed at Kawa’aloa Bay at  Mo’omomi, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The yearling seal, identified as RJ42, was found dead by community members on May 31. An investigation is underway so details of the cause of death cannot be released, but a post-mortem examination conducted by NOAA on June 1 indicated it was an intentional act.

“[The] injuries were purposely inflicted by a person(s) that caused a significant amount of trauma resulting in the monk seal’s death,” a NOAA statement said.

This is the sixth suspected monk seal killing on Molokai, and third at Mo’omomi, since 2009, according to NOAA.…

Emergency Device Helps Rescue Fishermen

Wednesday, June 13th, 2018


Last Thursday, two Molokai fishermen were stranded after their 18-foot boat capsized. A Coast Guard crew was able to quickly locate them and hoist them to safety after the fishermen activated an emergency beacon on board their vessel called an EPIRB, which stands for emergency position-indicating radiobeacon.

The two men, who were not identified, launched their boat from Kaunakakai Harbor Thursday morning to go fishing. They reported that a wave hit their boat, overturning it. They were able to swim out from under the boat but weren’t able to call for help, according to the Coast Guard. One of the Molokai residents swam back under the boat to manually activate the emergency beacon, and the signal was received by the Coast Guard at 12:06 p.m.…

Battle of the Airlines

Wednesday, June 6th, 2018


It’s a battle of the airlines to the tiny settlement of Kalaupapa, with two companies vying for the ridership of residents. In a drama that will play out in the coming weeks, both Makani Kai Air and Mokulele Airlines are now flying into the peninsula.

In March, Mokulele Airlines was selected to service the settlement under the federal Essential Air Service (EAS) program beginning June 1, but without the federal subsidy that normally offsets the cost of flying into remote locations that otherwise might not get air service. Makani Kai has been serving Kalaupapa under the EAS since 2011, also applied to renew its EAS contract, requesting about $700,000 annually.…

Tsunami Fears ‘Unfounded’

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018


With the continuing volcano and earthquake activity on Hawaii Island, many Molokai residents have their bags packed, ready to run for higher ground in case a tsunami is triggered. But Cindi Preller, duty scientist and geologist at the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, said that scenario is highly unlikely.

“The tsunami fears being propagated are unfounded,” she said. “The likelihood of a collapse from Kilauea is super low. The scary scenario that people are referring to is Mauna Loa [which is not currently erupting]. Kilauea has a buttress of sediment on the ocean floor… even if it does slide, it wouldn’t slide very far.”

The wall of sediment, or fine soil, would help slow any movement to a crawl.…

Landfill Expansion Planned

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018


Molokai’s landfill is looming larger each year, and the existing facility is slated to reach capacity by mid-2020. Maui County’s Dept. of Environmental Management is now proposing a $6.5 million plan to add two new disposal cells to the Molokai Integrated Solid Waste Management Facility in Na`iwa that would bury the island’s waste disposal needs until 2038.

The two-phase expansion of disposal cells would increase the size of the existing 11.6 acre landfill to 18.4 acres. Phase 5 is projected for development in 2019 and Phase 6 would be completed in 2024. The project also includes relocating the existing green waste facility to another location at the landfill, as it currently exists where Phase 6 is planned.…

Drawing the Line on Sea Level Rise

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018

Drawing the Line on Sea Level Rise

By Audrey Newman, Community Reporter

A team of committed students, teachers and community members participated in the statewide Blue Line Project to “draw the line on climate change” and raise community awareness of sea level rise projections for Molokai last Saturday.   Sust`aina ble Molokai helped volunteers create a temporary blue line of ocean images and climate change messages along Kamehameha V Highway in front of Duke Maliu Regional Park to show the area vulnerable to permanent flooding in the next 40 years.  

“We chalked in a blue line to show where the new shoreline will be if we don’t take drastic measures [to address] climate change, sea level rise, and carbon emissions,” explained Vicki Newberry, team leader for Aka`ula School. 

The blue line is based on the 2017 Hawaii Sea Level Rise Vulnerability and Adaptation Report, which estimates one meter (3.2 foot) increase in sea level.  Projections for the entire Molokai coastline can be viewed at pacioos.hawaii.edu/shoreline/slr-hawaii/.  Seventeen communities across Hawaii joined this Earth Day event, organized by the Blue Planet Foundation with local partners, to send a clear message from Hawaii that everyone across the globe must reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and unsustainable reliance on fossil fuels. Look in future issues of The Molokai Dispatch for more information on how climate change and sea level rise will affect Molokai.…

Molokai Earth Day

Thursday, April 19th, 2018

TNC Molokai News Release

This Friday, April 20, the 26th annual Molokai Earth Day will be celebrated at Mitchell Pauole Center from 5 to 9 pm. The 2018 Molokai Earth Day celebration theme aligns with the Polynesian Voyaging Society and Hokulea post worldwide voyage, “Pae`aina O Hawaii, Collectively taking care of Hawaii.” 

Come and see the many exhibits that can show how you can help take care of Molokai and Hawaii.  The 2018 Malama Kuleana Honua Award recipient is Billy Akutagawa, someone who has been taking care of Molokai all his life. There will be great stage entertainers, `ono food, Earth Day T-shirts and many learning experiences for your entire family. 

The annual event is co-sponsored by the County of Maui, the East Molokai Watershed Partnership and The Nature Conservancy’s Molokai Program.  The event is planned and organized by an Earth Day Committee made up of partners and volunteers from various organizations, agencies and schools in our community, and is funded through donations from our generous Molokai businesses.  Please come to our 26th anniversary Molokai Earth Day, a great family event.  E komo mai!…

Proposal for Ranch Purchase

Friday, April 13th, 2018

A company called Lamplighter Energy has proposed the purchase Molokai Ranch to grow and export hibiscus to South Korea. Lamplighter CEO Andre De Rosa said wood pellets from the hibiscus is a renewable substitute to burning coal, and his energy company has the investors and contract with an organization in Korea to sell the product.

Molokai Ranch, owned by Singapore-based land holder owner GL Limited, went up for sale last September at a price of $260 million, and its 55,575 acres represents one third of Molokai.

De Rosa sat down with a small handful of residents last month, filmed by Akaku, and shared his plans, which he says he has been doing on a one-on-one basis with the community.…